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Coworking: Sharing The Future

Coworking is not only a modern-day ideology, but the conscious choice of many businesses. For some this choice is out of necessity, but for many it is out of design.

Many of us rush to coffee shop hangout when we need to get some work done. If a place offer good coffee and free wifi, we like this place. However, coffee shops are not designed to be productive work environments – many distractions, wifi maybe faulty too, and many other reasons. This is where a centrally located, affordable coworking space becomes a better alternative.

Since our working world is changing, workplaces bring the norm of hot desking and shared spaces, bridging the gap between those who can work from home, but decide not to for personal and professional reasons, and those who need an office space, but not one that comes with all the overheads involved.

In Addition, with the rise in commercial property prices, renting office becoming more and more expensive and competition for best real estate locations getting tougher. Contractors and SMEs have a hard time fighting with big enterprises for office space. That is where co-working space comes in, as entrepreneurs can often rent them on a flexible basis, something which they are less likely to find in traditional commercial lets.

Target audience for coworking space

In UK, for example, 6% of the whole workforce are freelancers. if this does not sound like a great market share, according to recent studies that figure is to skyrocket to 50% within 3 years from now.

Also, it is not only about freelancers; bigger companies, like KPMG, are also see the benefit in terms of helping them “keep their ear to the ground” and keep up with new developments and ideas. Lloyd’s Bank for example allows now 30% of  employees to work flexibly, reducing the bank’s overheads and increasing the need in coworking spaces.

The future of coworking spaces – bigger than Starbucks

Let me ask: Do you think investment in coworking space is good idea? The sharp increase in popularity of coworking spaces was driven by the growth of the number of freelancers and new innovative companies searching for affordable office rents without long-term obligations.

More and more successful coworking companies are planning to expand. In Britain, the coworking market has increased by 2/3 and cover half million square meter only in central London. And this is not only about London – this trend becomes global, coming from trendy East London and Brooklyn to Saudi Arabia, India, Thailand, South Africa, China and many other countries worldwide.

A latest coworking forecast by Emergent Research indicates that the number of coworking offices in the world will increase from 11,000 last year to 26,000 in 2020. Just to understand the number, there were only 23,000 Starbucks stores worldwide last. In terms of coworking membership, it predicts  almost 4 million members – quadruple from almost 1 million last year.

Coworking investment – a new trend

Coworking is quite a new industry, or let’s say sector of an existing real estate industry. When it starts to boom it catches the eye of property investors. And with latest data that 1/3 American workforce are freelancers it becomes obvious why smart investors turn their heads (i.e. pockets) towards coworking real estate.

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